Health & Wellness Articles

8 Healthy Habits That Make You Radiant

How to Achieve a More Youthful Appearance, Naturally

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Chances are, you know her. Your eyes probably turn green with envy as soon as she walks into the room. She’s the one who consistently looks effortlessly beautiful without makeup. She’s most likely your age (or older), yet looks younger than you. Her skin always glows. Her smile lights up even the most overcast day, and her positive energy is contagious. You’ve probably told yourself, “She’s had work done,” or, “It must be good genes!” But what if I told you that anyone can achieve a healthier, more youthful appearance without turning to a cosmetic surgeon or using any magical beauty products at all?
 
Simply paying attention to your body’s needs and keeping up with a few healthy habits can help you get that gorgeous glow women long for. And trying the following tips will not only help you look radiant, but feel better on the inside, too!
 
Eat Clean
One of the best ways to achieve positively glowing, younger-looking skin is to focus on what you’re putting inside your body. If you’ve been a part of SparkPeople for a while now, you should know how important it is to eat your fruits and vegetables to achieve optimal health. And this goes for your body’s overall health--including your skin. Avoiding processed foods and eating a nutrient-rich diet filled with dark, leafy greens (like kale), root vegetables (like sweet potatoes), fruit with high antioxidant content (like blueberries and raspberries), fiber-filled nuts and whole, gluten-free grains can help your skin look more supple, minimize fine lines and even out your skin tone. Try these easy ways to meet your daily fruit and vegetable quota to reap the rewards of gorgeous, radiant skin.
 
Drink Your Weight in Water
Want to look younger and feel more energized? Put. Down. That. Soda. Soft drinks are still the most popular beverage in the United States. And what is taking up the number two spot? Water. This is quite scary considering that our bodies are roughly 60 percent water. Sugar-laden soft drinks and even their diet counterparts can dehydrate the body, which results in fluid imbalance, less energy and even breakouts. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of H20 every day will not only hydrate your skin and other important organs, but also maintain your body’s fluid balance.

And when your body’s fluid is in a balanced state, you can absorb more nutrients from good foods, digest your meals properly and regulate your body temperature. This means a healthier you will emerge from the inside, out! Water can also flush your body of toxins which, in turn, clears up blemishes, leaving your skin softer, smoother and younger-looking. Bonus: Drinking water can give you energy boosts throughout the day, so reach for another glass of water instead of coffee or soda when you’re feeling tired and groggy mid-afternoon.
 
Get Some Sleep
Feel like you don’t have time for sleep? Just like you make time for fitness, incorporating enough time for sleep into your busy schedule is just as important to your health and beauty routine, if not more. Inadequate Z’s can wreak havoc on your immune system, contribute to high blood pressure and result in the inability to lose more weight--or even maintain the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose! Also, “beauty sleep” is not just a funny saying or myth. While you’re comfy, cozy and dreaming, sleep researchers say that your body repairs and heals itself. So, get your eight hours in each night to avoid puffiness around your eyes, a washed-out or blotchy complexion and more.
 
Whistle While You Work

Okay, so if you’re one of those people who can’t whistle, no worries. Just make sure you go through your workday showing off those pearly whites in order to look younger and have more energy! If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, whatever you do, don’t let that negative energy follow you to the office. Work on keeping your attitude positive in order to feel less stressed, look less tired and be the exuberant person that your coworkers simply want to be around. Plus, when you think happy thoughts, your productivity soars which means you could get that coveted promotion sooner than you probably think!

 
Practice Perfect Posture
Remember when mom or grandma said, “Sit up straight!”? Well, these women weren’t just nagging you, they had a good point! Over time, your spine gradually reshapes to a different position based on how you sit. So, slouchers, heed this advice! In order to give yourself a more youthful appearance and a healthier spine, practicing good posture is a must. If you make a conscious effort to sit correctly every day, you could look quite a few years younger. It can even help you appear a few pounds lighter without additional exercise! Practicing perfect posture will result in a more confident appearance and can even help ease muscle pain and back problems.
 
To start practicing your posture and looking younger right now, begin performing periodic “posture checks” if you sit at a desk or table most of the day. Not sure how to sit? Here’s how:
 
While sitting, your head and eyes should look straight ahead with your neck aligned over your body. You shouldn't allow your head or chin to jut forward. Keep your knees slightly parallel or just a touch higher than your hips. Your back should remain straight while your buttocks touch the back of your chair. Feet should always be flat on the floor with your weight distributed evenly. The Cleveland Clinic recommends sitting in the same position no more than 30 minutes at a time. So, when 30 minutes is up, stand and stretch then go back to practicing!
 
Hold Your Head High
Sometimes, looking radiant is all in the way you carry yourself. If you walk into a room with your eyes on the floor, shoulders slumped, of course you’re going to look older--and probably pretty miserable. Now that you know how to practice perfect posture, it should be even easier to hold your head high and command any room. No matter where you're going, walk like you have purpose--even if you’re just going on your weekly grocery run. Good posture, smiling and looking people directly in the eye when you speak shows confidence, strength and can result in a younger, more alert appearance. So go ahead and live with some gusto!
 
Live Happy, Stress Less
It goes without saying that changing negative thoughts into positive ones will help relieve stress and make you happier. And guess what? Younger-looking people are typically those who do, in fact, stress less! When you’re stressed out and anxious, your body produces more cortisol, adrenaline and other chemicals that can make you feel depressed, tired and worn out. Plus, ongoing stress doesn’t do your immune system any favors. Too much stress can cause your glands to produce excess oil which can worsen skin conditions like acne and even eczema. So, take a deep breath and time to relax every day--even if you have just ten minutes. Learn how to live a stress-free lifestyle by trying some simple yoga posess, meditation or enjoying a spa treatment in the comfort of your own home. You’ll look and feel better before you know it.  
 
Do Nothing At All
Sometimes, we just need to relax for a while to gain youthful energy and be more productive later. Taking time to do nothing also plays a big part in stressing less in order to improve our appearance. But sometimes, when we think about everything we need to accomplish each day, taking time to do nothing can sound absurd. But, rest assured, freeing your mind of unwanted thoughts and stress will help you feel rejuvenated, rested and downright blissful.
 
Not sure how to go about doing nothing? You’re not alone! These three easy tips will help you master the art of doing absolutely nothing. You can always start small, devoting just five minutes to this necessary act each day to live a happier, healthier, more youthful existence.
 
  1. Find a spot where there are no distractions, noise or people that can interrupt you. Heck, close yourself in the bathroom if you must!
     
  2. Unplug everything. Turn off the television, your mobile phone, computer and any other electronics that can cause distractions. Better yet, don’t allow them to be in arm’s reach.
     
  3. Sit or lay in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on the sound of your breath.
Adopting just some of these natural, healthy habits will help you achieve a more youthful appearance and keep you looking gorgeous and radiant from the inside, out!
 
Source List
Cleveland Clinic, "Posture for a Healthy Back," www.clevelandclinic.com, accessed on April 15, 2013.
 
Kunst, Jennifer, Ph.D., "The Lost Art of Doing Nothing," Psychology Today, August 8, 2011.
 
Watson, Stephanie, "Are You Getting Enough Beauty Sleep," WebMD, accessed on April 15, 2013.
 
 

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Member Comments

  • Great article! Our countenance is key in looking our best. Even as an overweight woman, I felt so much better when I held my head high, was well groomed, well rested, and had a great attitude!
    When I lost weight my confidence burst forth!
    Goes for guys too!!!!
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  • I agree with many of the posts but will add that whatever makes us love our body more is good for us both inside and out. I do see a difference from drinking lots of water and its effect on my skin - which becomes less dry and itchy - so that pleases me very much. When people are in love, their whole body glows - I think loving ourselves well (however you personally define it) makes us glow too!
  • I'm with MIAMIAMIA20. Why did you sneak in the "gluten-free" concept? This is the first time I have ever seen a claim of global benefits attributed to this fad, which is a legitimate dietary restriction for a very few people. There is no reason for the average person to buy gluten-free products and there is no proof of a benefit.

    I also agree with KB42AND FIT. I am disappointed that you join in the culture that celebrates superficial youthfulness and implies that women are not attractive if they don't look like those airbrushed magazine covers. "Green with envy"???? Wow. What are we, in junior high school?
  • I agree with most of this article although I feel some of the claims lack scientific evidence. I would like to see some citations for them. Specifically these points:

    - gluten-free grains instead of other, wholewheat options (there's really no reason to avoid gluten if you don't have any gluten-related disorders such as celiac disease, and they are quite rare)

    - exactly how much water a person needs (the 8 cups per day guideline we often see is really just a guesstimation that isn't scientifically proven), if it really has an impact on your appearance and whether other beverages really dehydrate the body
  • I think a lot of the comments are right, genetics plays a role! I got lucky hitting the genetics jackpot myself. However, I think being careful with sun exposure was left out. Getting sleep, water, eating clean, exercising and reducing stress are the most helpful ideas! Anything you do to keep the body in great shape has to be helpful and keep you feeling optimal~
  • I used to smoke, I used to drink, sure social, but I was a party girl, long after the girl was very much a women. And there were the social indulging in drugs. How did this affect my skin, hair, general look? I didn't know until I quit. I looked healthier, younger, every part of me was more radiant. Yes I have good genes. but you can take the most beautiful women and subject her to bad habits, and see how she declines in appearance.
    Not everyone who is eating healthy, exercising,gettin
    g sleep, are going to turn into a knockout beauty. But they are going to look a lot better than if they didn't.. That's what this article is saying.
    When I don't sleep, I'm under stress, i show it right away. And since i am vain, yeah, I admit it, that's why I hated myself when I became obese. I take one look at the circles, dull hair, and know that I have to take steps to get back on track.
    there's nothing wrong in wanting to look attractive, as long as that isn't all a person is about.
    As women and men, we should do everything to keep ourselves looking and feeling the best we can.
    I'm happy to say I'm near 73.
    I'm too afraid of scars, blood and pain to have any nips and tucks. So I gotta work with what I got and that's the way it is.
  • I have to agree with KB42ANDFIT in this is a VERY gender sexist post. However, I also have to say it's a pretty useless post as well. I'm not trying to be the bearer of bad new but I do all those things and I still look my age. LOL (happily so) Sorry ladies and gentleman (see Spark?? THAT's how you include..) but genetics plays a roll in this...and if you're truly vain, plastic surgery :o)

    Now, the article WAS great for daily living habits. and I think THAT's what the article should have been geared for. I'll take my 5 points though. :o)
  • Thank you very much for this inspiration post.

    Sometimes we forget to relax and take some time off, even when we are relaxing!

    Great article!
  • Oh, excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT points. Thanks so much for putting all the ducks in a row! I am sixty, have always consciously practiced each of these directives thanks to the teachings of my wonderfully wise mother and her mother and her - well, you get my point :) People are always shocked when I tell them my age, guessing me at early 40's at the outside. Yes, I am very pleased lol. The best advice is the simple stuff, so keep preaching it, girl!
  • KB42ANDFIT
    Would you write this article with the lede in male pronouns? If not, don't write it for women either. Why shouldn't I celebrate my achievements of having lived 40+ years successfully and happily?

About The Author

Natalie Nichols Natalie Nichols
Natalie lost nearly 30 pounds the SparkPeople way before becoming a health and beauty contributor to the site. A self-proclaimed "girly girl," Natalie couldn't bear to break a sweat when she was younger, but now can't imagine living a life without exercise. In her spare time she practices yoga, enjoys cooking and stays involved in her community. Leading by example, she hopes to inspire others to live healthier and happier lifestyles, too.

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